Some wise words
about golf

I’m on holiday this week — playing my first game in over three months in the visitors match at Cardigan on Wednesday — and will do some tittering at the following golf truisms kindly sent in by Nick Page, a member at Wallasey GC, and who came to play in the annual Frank Stableford commemorative match against Glamorganshire last month.
I don’t know how it took him to gather these nuggets of wisdom but they are priceless:-
Don’t buy a putter until you’ve had a chance to throw it.
Never try to keep more than 300 separate thoughts in your mind during your swing.
When your shot has to carry over a water hazard, you can either hit one more club or two more balls.
If you’re afraid a full shot might reach the green while the foursome ahead of you is still putting out, you have two options: you can immediately shank a lay-up or you can wait until the green is clear and top a ball halfway there.
The less skilled the player, the more likely he is to share his ideas about the golf swing.
No matter how bad you are playing, it is always possible to play worse.
The inevitable result of any golf lesson is the instant elimination of the one critical unconscious motion that allowed you to compensate for all of your many other errors
Everyone replaces his divot after a perfect approach shot.
A golf match is a test of your skill against your opponents’ luck.
It is surprisingly easy to hole a fifty foot putt. For a 10.
Counting on your opponent to inform you when he breaks a rule is like expecting him to make fun of his own haircut. Nonchalant putts count the same as chalant putts
It’s not a gimme if its still your turn to play.
The shortest distance between any two points on a golf course is a straight line that passes directly through the centre of a very large tree.
You can hit a two acre fairway 10% of the time and a two inch branch 90% of the time.
If you really want to get better at golf, go back and take it up at a much earlier age.
Since bad shots come in groups of three, a fourth bad shot is actually the beginning of the next group of three.
When you look up, causing an awful shot, you will always look down again at exactly the moment when you ought to start watching the ball if you ever want to see it again.
Every time a golfer makes a birdie, he must subsequently make two triple bogeys to restore the fundamental equilibrium of the universe.
If you want to hit a 7 iron as far as Tiger Woods does, simply try to lay up just short of a water hazard.
To calculate the speed of a player’s downswing, multiply the speed of his back-swing by his handicap; I. E back-swing 20 mph, handicap 15, downswing = 300 mph.
There are two things you can learn by stopping your back-swing at the top and checking the position of your hands: how many hands you have, and which one is wearing the glove.
Hazards attract; fairways repel.
A ball you can see in the rough from 50 yards away is not yours.
How come some men can successfully run businesses with annual turnovers of hundreds of thousands and millions, constantly have trouble counting past five or six?
If there is a ball on the fringe and a ball in the bunker, your ball is in the bunker. If both balls are in the bunker, yours is in the footprint
It’s easier to get up at 6:00 AM to play golf than at 10:00 to mow the lawn
A good drive on the 18th hole has stopped many a golfer from giving up the game.
Golf is the perfect thing to do on Sunday because you always end up having to pray a lot.
A good golf partner is one who’s always slightly worse than you are….that’s why I get so many calls to play with friends.
If there’s a storm rolling in, you’ll be having the game of your life.
Golf balls are like eggs. They’re white. They’re sold by the dozen. And you need to buy fresh ones each week.
It’s amazing how a golfer who never helps out around the house will replace his divots, repair his ball marks, and rake his bunkers.
And, finally, one that really rings true — If your opponent has trouble remembering whether he shot a six or a seven, he probably shot an eight (or worse).
Many thanks, Nick.

Don’t blame us
for slow play

It’s bad enough when rain stops you playing golf but when it prevents you swanning around the course in a buggy as a marshal’s assistant it is doubly sad.
My enforced lay-off following an operation still has a couple of months to go but last weekend I was offered the chance to witness at first hand our club’s latest clamp-down on slow play.
This was slightly ironic since every time slow play is discussed my regular three-ball tends to get mentioned in a derogatory manner. Needless to say, we are aggressively vociferous in our defence. Not that we disagree with the principle, we just don’t like getting picked on.
The European Tour has also declared war on slow play and they penalised Ross Fisher one shot at the Wales Open last month. At Glamorganshire, suspensions are threatened.
There wouldn’t be much point in imposing a shot penalty at our level — most of the 200 or so who compete in each monthly medal would hardly notice if you added five shots to their total.
But stopping a club golfer playing in a medal is a cruel punishment. You have to queue up a week ahead to get your name down for one, that’s how keen everyone is to play in them. We are far keener on competitive rather than social golf.
Every golfer has their own idea of what constitutes slow play. In the third round of the US Women’s Open at Wisconsin last week the final two-ball took five hours and 25 minutes. They were probably having a chat.
Obviously, games of that duration would cause havoc in club golf. At our club, the match and handicap committee have decided that four hours, which includes a refreshment stop at the halfway house, should be the norm.
As it is, those off first in the morning usually manage to finish inside that time but by the afternoon rounds are taking four hours 30 minutes or more which is not good enough.
Match captain Leon is determined to speed play up so that no-one is unduly delayed. The first offence will attract a warning letter and dilly-dallying for a second time will earn a two weeks suspension for all competitions.
To help maintain the pace of play, a series of course marshals will be cruising the course in a buggy to encourage any laggards to get a move on.
And to ensure everyone begins on time, a starter will be posted on the first tee. Anyone late will also attract a penalty.
Leon invited me on his buggy to see how it all went but the torrential rain closed the course.
Just to prove there’s nothing new in this game, we had a slow play problem when I was captain 20 years ago. I appointed a senior member as a starter and because he’d be on duty for six or seven hours I arranged for him to be paid a couple of bob.
A year or so later, after my term of office was over, they sacked him to save money. I feel somewhat vindicated that a starter has been re-introduced and I may have mentioned it once or twice in the bar.
Of course, whenever slow play is brought up the poor old hackers are usually blamed. But common sense tells you that a golfer taking 110 shots in a medal is liable to be slower than one who takes 70.
Although that doesn’t always apply. Hackers don’t generally ponce around the green studying putts from every angle. And after playing a shot we tend not to stand there posing for 30 seconds
As for my infamous three-ball; Max, Mike and myself usually play at about 9 am. Unfortunately, most of those who start earlier have a passion for rapid play that we don’t share. This is not surprising since our combined age is about 220 and we take around 300 shots between us.
But we still get home in around four hours. They take pride in being a lot quicker. In fact, if you ask them how their round went instead of giving you their nett score as most would they say ‘three hours 41 minutes’.
Now, you wouldn’t mind if they were in a rush to finish in order to take their wives shopping or to see their sons play football. No, they gather round the back of the 18th green, with a steady accumulating array of empty glasses in front of them, mocking the finishing times of those behind them.
Our only explanation is that they are all alcoholics who can’t wait to get back to the clubhouse to have a drink.
Having said that, we are wholeheartedly behind Leon’s campaign and I hope Leon invites me onto his marshal’s buggy when last weekend’s postponed medal is played next weekend. I’d welcome the role of independent observer.